Proactive strategy against Covid-19

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DUE to sharp rise in infections and deaths because of
Coronavirus, the government’s anti-Covid-19 policy has come under severe criticism especially from the opposition parties which are persistently calling for a complete and sweeping lockdown to flatten the curve of the pandemic. However, the government, on the other hand, maintains it is on the right course to save the lives and livelihoods.
Briefing media persons after cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said the government is pursuing a proactive strategy to contain and prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic keeping in view the ground realities and the country’s economic situation. His remarks came as twenty cities have been identified as potential Covid-19 hotspots/clusters where restrictive measures have been enforced keeping in view the Prime Minister’s smart lockdown policy. To contain the virus, the government has formulated Tracing, Testing and Quarantine strategy aimed at identifying disease spread, focused clusters/hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns and need driven resource optimization at all levels. Under this strategy, the testing capacity has also been enhanced. Minister for Communications Murad Saeed told the National Assembly on Tuesday the country has developed the capacity to carry out fifty thousand tests on a daily basis. This indeed is a big achievement as it will help trace and isolate more Corona patients. Nonetheless, it is yet to be seen as to how far the government’s smart lockdown policy succeeds in the days ahead. A lot depends on enforcement of strict restrictions in the areas identified as hotspots. Secondly, the element missing in the government’s strategy is lack of an effective awareness campaign against the virus. The people are still not taking the threat seriously and each day see rise in conspiracy theories. We, therefore, suggest the government to launch a robust communication and awareness campaign at the grassroots level to create a sense of urgency amongst the population to strictly adhere to precautionary measures, and indeed those violating the SOPs should not be spared but strict penalties be imposed on them. The people need to demonstrate sense of responsibility to rid the country of this pandemic.